100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Airports and airlines on notice after people with disability speak out about humiliating treatment
After the former disability discrimination commissioner spoke out about his recent experience in Adelaide, more accounts have emerged of rough…
Disabled passengers stuck on landed flights for hours due to 'outrageous incompetence'
BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner was let onboard an empty jet at Heathrow Airport on Sunday evening after flying back…
Super-plan-for-home-buyers-is-thought-to-be-atrocious
Good morning, early birds. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a plan to allow first home buyers to raid their…
Ex-envoy slams ‘loss of trust’ in Pacific
The coalition talk about a Pacific family but they don’t treat it like one, Labor says, as it vows to…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
BBC's Frank Gardner left on empty plane as Heathrow have 'no staff to remove wheelchair'
The journalist has previously spoken out after being stuck on a plane at the airport twice in six months in…
NSW government refuses to close legal loophole allowing prison staff to strip-search children
Exclusive: Ombudsman demands response from ministers after recommendation to prohibit fully naked body searches of children was ignored
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
Labor increasingly likely to form majority government as Liberals descend into turmoil
Anthony Albanese and his senior leadership and economics team will be sworn in on Monday as PM-elect declares he wants…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Informer: Morrison bulldozed in the wrong direction, happy news for Biloela family
Confessing to a bad habit of "bulldozing" at the eleventh hour, and promising to change his ways, was not enough…
Kurt Mann's rolled ankle became a 'ticking time-bomb'
The 156-game utility has missed the Knights past four games.
Peter Dutton firms as next Liberal leader amid fight over future of the party
Dan Tehan and Karen Andrews both touted as potential challengers, but conservatives confident Dutton has the numbers to succeed Scott…
Sharpe double helps Cessnock to 28-4 win over The Entrance
The Goannas jumped the Tigers on the ladder following the victory.
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Police appeal for help locating 13-year-old boy
Jameel was last seen wearing his school uniform on May 13.
From Jenny Morrison’s intriguing fashion choice to Toto the first dog: 10 lighter election moments
The outgoing PM’s wife chose a surprising designer, the French got sassy and Sky News struggled through election night

Former disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes calls for change after 'humiliating' Adelaide Airport experience

Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes says he was left feeling distressed and humiliated after going through Adelaide Airport security.  (Courtesy of Graeme Innes)

Australia's former disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes has described his transit through Adelaide Airport security on Friday as "humiliating" and "distressing".

Mr Innes was returning home to Queensland after a business trip in Adelaide when he tried to use the security body scanner while holding onto his guide dog's lead.

He said he was refused access to use the body scanner and was asked to use a walk-through X-ray scanner, with his guide dog put through separately.

His colleague then had to intervene and question airport staff once a security guard said Mr Innes needed a pat down despite him not triggering the security alarm.

Mr Innes said his dog's metal harness triggered the alarm, and a supervisor later agreed that only the dog needed a pat down.

"This happens to me once every three months," Mr Innes said about airports around Australia.

The former commissioner said he had previously been pushed back by another security guard at a different airport while attempting to walk through a security scanner and has received multiple disrespectful and negative comments in other airports around the country.

Graeme Innes at Parliament House when he was the disability discrimination commissioner.  (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Airport investigating incident

In a statement, a spokesperson for Adelaide Airport said the incident was being investigated. 

"Adelaide Airport apologises to Mr Innes for his poor experience, which is not in keeping with our expected high standards of customer service," he said.

"We have a range of policies and programs in place to assist people with disabilities.

"They include having a Guide Dogs SA/NT trained facility dog based in the terminal to support travellers seeking extra assistance in navigating the terminal, and we are part of the Hidden Disability program to support people with an autism spectrum disorder."

Call for equality

Mr Innes was the national disability discrimination commissioner from 2005 to 2014 and has also served as Australia's human rights commissioner for almost four years.

He contributed to the Same Sex: Same Entitlements inquiry which resulted in the removal of discrimination across federal law and the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was ratified in Australia in 2008.

The now company director said he would like the federal government to intervene to ensure equal treatment for people with disabilities at airports.

"Policies for people with disabilities by airlines and airports treat us in a very negative and limiting way," Mr Innes said.

Mr Innes says there needs to be better training for security staff on interacting with people with a disability. (Twitter: Paul Woods)

"We're always the exception to the rule, we're always the group of people that has to have a particular type of treatment."

The former commissioner said from his experiences it does not appear appropriate training is given to airline and airport staff when it comes to interacting with people with a disability.

"What many of us would like is the system to be configured where we can be treated like anyone else." he said.

"Airports and airlines have to be brought in line and the only way to do that is to have people with disabilities involved in changing the regulations so we're included not treated as a separate group of people.

"It's not acceptable."

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Airports and airlines on notice after people with disability speak out about humiliating treatment
After the former disability discrimination commissioner spoke out about his recent experience in Adelaide, more accounts have emerged of rough…
Disabled passengers stuck on landed flights for hours due to 'outrageous incompetence'
BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner was let onboard an empty jet at Heathrow Airport on Sunday evening after flying back…
Super-plan-for-home-buyers-is-thought-to-be-atrocious
Good morning, early birds. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a plan to allow first home buyers to raid their…
Ex-envoy slams ‘loss of trust’ in Pacific
The coalition talk about a Pacific family but they don’t treat it like one, Labor says, as it vows to…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
BBC's Frank Gardner left on empty plane as Heathrow have 'no staff to remove wheelchair'
The journalist has previously spoken out after being stuck on a plane at the airport twice in six months in…
NSW government refuses to close legal loophole allowing prison staff to strip-search children
Exclusive: Ombudsman demands response from ministers after recommendation to prohibit fully naked body searches of children was ignored
Get all your news in one place